Chapter 43: Familiar roads and unfamiliar changes
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Soon after the flood disappeared, a group of pink robed mage bravely entered the mountain forest and rushed to collect summer maple grass.
The mountain road became very muddy, and one may fall down if they didn’t pay attention to it. Sylar turned into the big black crocodile, Myka, on his back.
At first Myka disagreed, which was strange. Sylar insisted again and again that Myka could almost see the grievance from the crocodile’s expression. Of course, the crocodile would not have an expression. At last he had to agree.
Before approaching the village, Sylar stopped and changed back. He knew he couldn’t scare the villagers. However, people in Yuanxian village had been frightened by another thing.
They first saw a young man running out of the woods, almost undressed, anxiously asking people everywhere where Myka’s home was. The villagers didn’t know where the young man was from. Seeing that he was wearing so little, they thought he was a customer of the pink robed mage and pointed out the direction for him.
Then, a more shocking picture appeared: the villagers saw a huge brown bear running out, carrying a human youth, and followed by two elves, one was a long blonde hair Lansuo elf, the other was a dark skinned silver haired drow. Of course, the villagers didn’t know what “drow” and “dark elf” were at all. They only thought that the elf was strange. They think that he had been stained black by mud. They were kind enough to ask him to stay and wash before leaving… It took Hollis a lot of effort to escape back to the forest.
Illican, who came out on a bear, received unexpected respect. That day, there was a rumor in Yuanxian village that when the disaster happened, he could get the help of the beast and was escorted by two elves. This young man must be the family member of the God of nature, Auben…
When the rumor came back to Todd, people looked at Illican with great admiration, which was later.
The young men of the guard were very grateful to Myka. Because of Myka’s timely reminder, their family and property were preserved. Although the house was affected by mud and water, the loss was quite small.
When he heard that “the man without clothes” was not Myka’s client, Pilak, the soldier, looked ashamed, “My God, that’s what happened? I’m really sorry… “
“It didn’t matter. I guess he’s just looking for something.” Myka said.
The guards looked at each other, and they remembered the last time – after the goblin and orc troops took Myka, some villagers even angered Myka and stole his things.
“We don’t read as many books as you mages,” one of the guys said, grabbing his hair. “Sometimes, we used to talk badly. This time, I really thank you. I will never say that you have no wife because of selling sex… “
“Didn’t you just say it again?!” Another guard poked his partner with his elbow and turned to Myka. “Mage, do you want us to visit your house? If the man who doesn’t wear clothes really steals your things, we — “
“No, no, no!” Myka stopped. Just now Atan was eager to eliminate the magic effect, maybe he didn’t pay much attention to the villagers; now if he saw so many young people, he could not point out what he would do again. “I don’t care about that, really,” Myka said, smiling and patting Pilak on the shoulder, smiling at the village guards as usual. “It’s been raining for so many days, but I’m in a good mood now.”
Myka looked back and saw that Sylar was explaining to three or four farmers how to rescue crops flooded with too much water.
They both looked up at each other.
It was far less dangerous and tense than it was when he was a battle mage, but Myka had a sense of relief as if he had achieved so much. Maybe it was because the villagers’ thanks made him feel a little warm. Maybe it was because he never fought against the flood before. Maybe it was because of the kiss in the muddy forest.
It took people nearly half a month to repair the village and clean up the forest roads. During this period, Atan disappeared again. Hollis and Inkoso returned to the Lansuo valley. It was said that the elves kept on guard every day, for fear that the vine monster would appear again at night. Illican returned to Todd City, and his hard experience turned into a heroic adventure story. Even the stern consul Sikana didn’t scold him much.
Myka had a small piece of land in Berry Village, which he got after helping the couple. When he went there to observe the herbs planted, he heard that Sovili had become the personal guard of Lord Todd.
“How do they allow… No, what about an outsider called a “savage” as the Lord’s guard?” Myka asked Silva’s father.
The planter shook his head and said, “Who knows. It seems that the evaluation of young lords in the city was much better than before. When he was in danger, the story of being protected by the God of abundance spread very well. I guess it was the credit of the consul, who was very loyal to the Todds. Moreover, the Lord described Mr. Sovili’s heroic deeds vividly.”
“People have changed their relationship,” added Silva, who was picking berries with her maid. “They used to say that they were ‘the despicable aristocrat and the miserable male pet.’ Now, they believed that the two were living and dying together.”
Myka couldn’t help smiling, imagining Illican’s tragic face as he recounted the experience of being tied. Illican was very good at these things.
What surprised him was Sovili’s choice. Sovili may still need to stay there for treatment, but he had become less resistant to communicating with others and less respectful of others’ goodwill. These days, it seemed that Sovili hadn’t experienced anything special, even if there was something ugly… But his subtle change happened quietly.
Myka thought, maybe many things changed in a small and imperceptible way. He didn’t remember how he changed from a battle mage to pink mage. When he found out, he was already studying Pink Magic and making related potions. Although he made a sudden decision to do business, he was unconsciously changing his habits.
Thinking of this, he felt that Sylar was quite strange: the Druid had been following him for nine years, as if he had no intention of changing his tracking habits at all.
“Sylar, can you walk in human form?”
On the way back to Yuanxian village, Myka said this helplessly to a grey goose.
The grey goose circled for several times, as if trying to disguise itself as a real grey goose… But Myka kept staring at him, so he had to fall down and turn back to Druid in his red and green cape.
“How did you know it’s me?” Sylar held the oak stick in both hands, slightly lowered his head, and his face was shy.
Myka remembered that Sylar was very normal, brave and experienced when he was in the forest. For some reason, now he looked like a girl again.
“Although I’m a mage, I don’t know anything about animals,” Myka said. “I’ve never seen a single grey goose that flies so low and stealthily follows humans.”
“Then what do you think was better for me to follow you?” The Druid asked askew.
Myka couldn’t help crying and laughing, “Can you not follow me?” When he finished speaking, he found that the words were not right, and then he said, “I mean, can you not follow me secretly? Can’t you walk in the normal way?”
“Yes, but I don’t think of it now.” Sylar said.
“On the one hand, I’m used to stalking you; on the other hand…” Druid buried his head lower. “I’ll want to kiss you again.”
Sylar was always like this, leaving behind a red faced sentence and then showing a more shy expression than the listener, making people don’t know how to answer.
When Myka was almost numb, Sylar offered to change the subject, “So, Myka, are you going home?”
“Yes, then I’ll go to the city to open a shop…”
“Then can I follow you all the time?”
“But why do you follow me all the time? You… You can walk normally, normally, okay?”
Sylar agreed to walk normally, so they decided to continue on the road. Now it was not far from returning to Yuanxian village.
A few hundred feet away, Myka had to stop again.
Sylar was walking in human form, but he kept walking behind Myka. Myka could feel the Druid’s shy and warm eyes.
“That’s not called ‘walking normally’!” Myka said.
Sylar seriously said, “Unless there is an enemy in front of them, the druid will let the people they want to protect walk in front of them. In this way, they can pay attention to the situation in all directions, and also block the sneak attack from behind. If there is danger in front of them, they can come and flash in front of each other. This is with a kind of zoology called the red back primitive wolf… “
Myka tried to ignore the embarrassing part of Sylar’s speech and said, “The road here is very safe, now we are not on the road of adventure, there is no danger in all directions, okay?”
“Walk with me.” When Myka said this, he had to look away. He never knew that he was such a shy person.
Sylar nodded in agreement with his suggestion. After another few hundred feet, Sylar suddenly reached out and took Myka’s hand.
“What’s the matter?” Myka asked.
“Nothing. Standing next to you, I have no sense of security, holding your hand I will feel better. “
Myka really didn’t understand ‘no sense of security.’ He looked at Sylar doubtfully, so Sylar explained, “If I walk like this, I will have a blind spot and can’t look at you all the time. I feel insecure.”
Myka would like to ask, ‘Why do you have to keep looking at me…’ But then he thought, it goes back to a long time ago. Sylar’s hand was tight, not ready to compromise.
They just walked on the country road hand in hand, Sylar would point to some plants on the side of the road and say their characteristics. At first, Myka didn’t want to look at him too much – because Sylar’s face was red and his eyes were excited, which made Myka not know how to deal with it. Gradually, he didn’t know what was going on. Myka didn’t think it was so awkward.
He thought that maybe he had something to say when talking about herbs and anecdotes from all over the world, so he was distracted, but the strength he felt in Sylar’s hand didn’t lessen at all, and even Sylar unconsciously changed the gesture of ordinary handshake to ten finger clasp.
The change had happened unconsciously, Myka thought.
Half a month ago, in the mud covered forest outside the cave, Sylar once said that he had imagined traveling around with Myka, experiencing all kinds of things and places together. Now, Myka felt that this kind of imagination seemed to be sprouting in his mind. He didn’t know if it was the result of Sylar’s influence.
The path before them was not even, but curved, leading to a road not far away, and the road led to Yuanxian village where Myka lived. Myka had walked this road many times by himself. He was familiar with all the sights on the side of the road.
But now the road seemed to be different. It was like a path extending to an unknown place.
“Myka,” Sylar suddenly asked, “you think that time before, we… Was that a kiss?”
“Of course.” Myka blurted out, and then felt too magnanimous.
Sylar whispered, “I haven’t done that before… That way. I’ve only kissed someone’s face, forehead, or lips, so I don’t know what happened last time…”
“I’m like you,” Myka felt a little more balanced somehow, “I just know a little more than you.”
“And the hands of others.” Sylar stared at him in silence. It took a while for Myka to understand what he was thinking, “What? Is it strange to kiss the back of a lady’s hand?”
“When it comes to hands, I also want to kiss your fingers…” At this time, Sylar said in a smaller voice. Before Myka could express anything, Sylar held up Myka’s back of hand and bowed his head to kiss each knuckle one by one.
“I’ve been imagining this since about seven years ago,” said Sylar. “You have beautiful gestures when you cast, and charming hands when you hold a quill.”
It was more embarrassing than the last time I kissed in the mud! Myka tried to take it back, but it didn’t work. “Why seven years ago?”
“The first two years I followed you, I didn’t have this idea yet…” Sylar looked at Myka with a smile.
Maybe it was because of the sunshine but Sylar’s reddish face and red hair looked so warm that Myka didn’t want to look straight, but found it was hard to look away.
Sylar lowered his head again to look for Myka’s lips. As the two men were rubbing their noses together, Myka said in a low, embarrassed voice, “Do you think this is good for us?”
“What’s the matter?” Sylar’s voice was a little nervous.
“No, nothing. Er, I…… ” Myka nervously looked for the right words, “I think such intimate behaviors usually happen between lovers, right? Not between friends…”
“I still have this common sense,” said Sylar. “I haven’t treated you as a friend, not since the time you jumped out of the window.”
Myka found that Sylar’s voice was more and more aggrieved, although the last sentence was quite direct. Without saying anything more, maybe Sylar would ask ‘have I interfered with you?’ Myka was quite reluctant to listen to him.
So Myka said, “So did I, okay? That is to say I also know it’s not among friends, so we…”
He didn’t realize it. He was just procrastinating. What he didn’t realize was why he wanted to delay so much. It was just a kiss. In the past, when he sold magic boxes, he knew how many times he had seen the intimacy between handsome men and beautiful women or between two handsome men and two beautiful women.
During the conversation, Sylar didn’t open the distance again, and he kept the posture of almost sticking to the mage’s face all the time. Myka could feel his breath on his cheek. Because Myka himself couldn’t figure out what he wanted to say, he was in a state of mind that ‘a sharp sword is better than a blunt one’. He touched Sylar’s lips.
The druid held Myka tightly, and the strength of his arm reminded Myka of a bear or wolverine.
Myka thought: there’s no one else here anyway, and I’m a pink robed mage. I can’t seem so timid.
But he was a little bit mistaken, Sylar and he were in some way the opposite. Myka was seldom shy in daily life, but his heart played drums in the face of Sylar, and Sylar… At ordinary times, he wriggled like a little girl, but at this moment, his heart had nothing but excitement.
Sylar closed his eyes, and every little touch made him want to kiss deeper.
Sylar had been following Myka since nine years ago. Sylar had been fantasizing about kissing Myka’s fingers since seven years ago – and Myka didn’t know that he was involved in something Sylar had fantasized about for six years.
The clear sound of horses’ hooves sounded on the broad road not far away. Without waiting for Myka to say anything, Sylar raised his head in horror.
Myka was very grateful for that. While Sylar was observing the distance, Myka concentrated on breathing again, and was surprised that it was harder.
A caravan was parked on the side of the road, and the driver was waving excitedly. His black hair was flat on the back of his head, and his slim and long body was wrapped in a neat slim hunting suit… It was like a traveling aristocrat, although the aristocrat wouldn’t drive a caravan here.
“Atan?” Sylar looked at the man in surprise.
In Sylar’s impression, Atan Needles was either dressed in simple leather armor and cloaks, or not dressed, or he was simply a wolf. He had never seen Atan dressed as he was now.